Boom! Chapter 20!
We touched down in Nashville around dusk. We grabbed our carry on's and there's not a camera in sight. We go and grab our luggage and walk out into the lobby. I look around and see a familiar face smiling back. "Frankie!" I run over to him and hug him. "You look amazing!" He was probably 6 feet even, thin as a rail with spiky gray hair. "Brookie, I think you've grown 3 feet since I last saw you." "Frankie, this is Bruno, Phil, Ari, Kenji, Jamaero, Eric, Phredly, and my cousin Melody." "Nice to me y'all." We walk out to an awaiting limo. "Brookie, the drivers going to take you to the cabin. He's going to pick you up at 6 tomorrow morning. Training starts at noon." "Yes Coach." We get into the limo and Frankie gets into a different car. "So you guys ever ridden before?" "Nope, no." "Never?! Well we're just going to have to fix that tomorrow!" They all laugh. "You know what, we haven't done the preesh pose in a while." "Picture time!" Phil screams. They all whip out their phones and we start posing. The last pose we do, Bruno pulls me in and kisses me. They snap away. We pull up to the cabin and get out. We go inside and it's just how I remember it. By the door is a stairway the leads up to the master. The main floor, super spacious with an amazing view. I walk out onto the patio and Bruno follows. He looks down and his eyes bug out. "Were freaking hanging off the side of a mountain!" "Yeah, I know. And we have a hot tub!" We walk back inside and walk downstairs into the furnished basement. There's a pool table and then a hall with rooms. I hear a knock at the door. "Got it!" I shout. I take the stairs 3 by 3 till I get to the main floor again. "I got it Kenji." "Alright." I open it and it's Jessica. "Hey Speedy!" "Hey Stix! Hi." Her eyes had wandered behind me. "Hi." Kenji said. I winked at her. "Kenji this is one of my good friends Jessica." I invite her in. "Nice to meet you." Kenji hugs her and I walk behind and give her a thumbs up. Her and Kenji pull away and smile at each other. "So, Brooke, I was just stopping by to make sure you had everything you guys would need." "Yeah we have everything for everyone." I wink at her and she giggles. "You can stay if you want." "I really wish I could but I have work tomorrow." "What do you do?" Kenji asks. "I'm a baker. I have a cupcake shop." "I love cupcakes!" "Really? Or are you just saying that?" "No seriously." Jessica smiled. "That's cool." I walk out of the room and let them do their thing. I take my things up to the masted bedroom and find Bruno already up there. "Hey." "Hi Mr. Mars." I unpack my thing and lay out an old raggedy pair of denim jeans, a red spaghetti strap shirt, a red plaid shirt, and my favorite tan cowboy boots. "Are you excited for tomorrow?" "Yeah, but the real challenge is going to be finding that horse that has the heart. It doesn't have to be a thoroughbred, it has to be a horse that loves to run. You can see it in the way they run, in the look in their eyes." "Wow." "I don't want you guys to be bored. They have ATVs and trails, you could probably go rafting or swim in the rivers. Oh and they have a place in the woods where you guys could play paintball if you wanted to." "Yeah, I'll tell the guys but I think I'm going to watch you. Maybe I could ride?" "Really? You'd want to?" "Sure, why not." I smiled and walked back down stairs. "Brooke I'm leaving." "Bye Jessie!" She walked out closing the door behind her. "Wow." Kenji said. "You get her number?" "Yeah." "Be good to her, she's been hurt a lot." "Really who would want to hurt her? She's so beautiful, she's got spunk." "Well, it's not my place to say." I walked around and made sure everyone was settled in. I went back upstairs and changed into my bikini and walked outside. Bruno was sitting in the hot tub, with the jets and lights on. His head was laid back and his eyes were closed. I laid my towel down and slowly creeped in. I sat on his lap and his lips were slightly parted. I slowly kissed him until he started kissing me back. "You fell asleep." He smiled. "I could get used to waking up like that." I smile and start to slide off his lap but he pulls me back on. "Don't leave." I smile and kiss him again, then we heard a growl that scared both of us half to death. "What was that?!" "It was a bear I think." I climbed out o the hot tub and grabbed a flashlight from inside. I walked back out and shined it down the side until I finally saw it. "Look you see it?" "Shit, that's close." I laughed at him. "Scaredy cat." "I'm out." He grabbed his towel and went inside, I followed him. I looked around and it sounded like everyone was sleeping. I followed Bruno up to the bedroom and we changed into our pajamas and climbed under the sheets. I laid on my side and he wrapped his arm around me. "Brooke?" "Mmm?" "Please be careful." "I will Bruno, I promise." Why was he so worried? Of course he always worried about me. Did he know something I didn't? I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind and let sleep take me.
I woke up and it was still dark out. Weird, I didn't dream again last night. I looked at the clock and it read 5am. I sighed and rolled out of bed and took my shower and dressed. I left my boots off, afraid the clicking of the heels would wake everyone. I set them down by the door and started making breakfast. I just decided I'd make enough for everyone and I'd have a bowl of cereal and leave. That way when everyone woke up they could eat and go over to the racetrack. As I was finishing up I heard a floorboard behind me creak. I turned around and Bruno and everyone else was standing behind me. "Oh, you're all up." They all sat down at the table and we scarfed everything down. We put the dishes away when we heard a car horn. "Let's roll!" I shouted. We all piled into the limo and we headed to the racetrack. The whole way there everyone was talking about riding and rafting and they all sounded super excited. Around 6:30 we pulled onto a dirt road. "Oh! Look, look, look!" As the trees cleared we were driving right by the racetrack. "Look at that!" There were about 15 horses in all doing a warm up race for this afternoons practice. Everyone was looking out the windows in complete amazement. I had the biggest smile on my face. We finally stopped and I scrambled out. We walked into the stables and Frankie was there to greet us. He set the guys up with horses to ride and I started looking for that one horse. "Bruno you don't have to follow me, you can go with the guys." "No, I'm good." We walked down the stables and talked some, but mostly my attention was focused on the horses. "Brooke Daniels." "Oh no." I said under my breath. Walk down the stables looking as prissy as ever was Kat Mako and he mother which happens to own, Trenton's pride, a purebred racehorse. "Hi Kat, Claire." "Oh my god! Is that Bruno Mars?!" I look at Bruno apologetically. Kat ran over and hugged him. I crossed my arms and she saw my ring. "Who's the unlucky man?" She asks all snobby like. "Oh, Bruno is." I say smartly. She looks at me and rolls her eyes, then she looks at Bruno. "She's nothing special, you deserve someone smart and beautiful like me." She starts to rub all against Bruno. "Actually I'm perfectly happy with Brooke." He looks at her and smiles and I can't help but giggle. "Brooke, where's your horse?" Claire asked. "Actually I haven't found one yet, I'm still looking." "Oh, well don't worry, Trenton's pride is a really champion, no one can out run him." "Well we'll just have to see about that." Kat and Claire walk off. "Oh I cant stand them! She's always been my arch rival and such a snob!" "Don't let her mess with your head, she's got nothing on you." He winked at me. We got to the end of the barn and I just couldn't seem to find that horse. I looked out onto the field and saw a stray horse out in the field. I whistled and the horse came trotting over. She was tan and it looked like she had black socks on all her hooves. "That's Farah." Frankie said. I looked into her eyes and I could see the heart to run in them. "Her, I want to race her. She has the heart." "You can't race her Brookie, she's going blind." "Never say you can't, because anything can happen." I looked at Bruno and smiled. "You just have to believe, and I believe in the unbelieved." We saddle Farah up and took her over to the gates. "Brooke, you'll be careful right?" "I'll be fine Bruno. Don't worry." I jumped onto Farah and we trotted into the gates. She started to panic and then the gates opened. All the other horses exploded out but she's was hesitant. As the other horses ran, I was still trying to calm her. "Farah c'mon girl, c'mon." She finally started running but the other horses were already at the half mile pole. The adrenaline started pumping through my vein and she ran as fast as the wind. Never had I seen a horse with such a kick. The other horses rounded the corner and were in for the homestretch and we had just caught up with the back of the pack. She got spooked and stopped abruptly, sending me over the side of her to the ground.
Bruno watched as she struggled with her horse. When she finally regained control the horse took off. "Bruno!" He heard a familiar voice yell. He rolled his eyes and looked over at Kat. Everything on her looked fake. Her blonde hair, red stained lips, her green eyes, and that too tight shirt. He politely smiled and gave a little wave and turned his attention back to Brooke. "Hi there baby." She grabbed his arm and started rubbing against me. "Look, I'm really not interested. I'm happy with Brooke." "Look, you deserve someone who's smart, beautiful, and has money." "Kat, look, to me Brooke is the smartest and most beautifulest person in this world, no one can compare to her. She may not be as rich as me, she may be poor, but I don't care. She's amazing just the ways she is." "Aw, you don't know what your...." I turned my head to look back at Brooke and I saw her horse stop and she fell over. "Brooke!" I jumped the fence and ran over to her. My heart was in my throat and beating about a million miles an hour. Frankie ran over but I got to her first. Cameras followed me and all stood around her in a circle. "Brooke!" She stood up and took her helmet off. "Daniels!" Frankie yelled. "I'm fine! It's not her fault! She just got spooked! She just needs some more training!" "Brooke! Are you ok? Anything broken? Do you need to go to a hospital?" She giggled. "I'm fine Bruno. Just a few bruises."
A look of relief washed over Bruno's face. "Well I'm sure half the blame sits squarely on the shoulders of the rider." Everyone's head snapped over to where the reports stood. "Claire Mako. I'm pretty sure no one here asked for your input in the situation." She laughed. "Hey Claire, ain't it true that ever since Brooke stopped jockeying and training your horses you haven't won a race?" Jasper! "Nobody asked you track rat. In fact I'd like to extend an invitation for Frankie to enter his blind horse." "Done." I said. "You sure do have a lot of faith in that horse." "Course I do. No body believed in Flicka, she made it to the derby. I believe in Farah. She runs like a champion and she's not even a thoroughbred, she's a Quarter horse." With that I walked off. Bruno, Frankie, Jasper, and Farah in tow. "Jasper!" I walked over and hugged one of my good friends who bets horses. "Lookie here." He showed me his stop watch. "I know you didn't finish but I got you between the quarter mile and half mile pole." It read 22 seconds flat. "I know a good bet when I see one. That horse really wants to race and I can't bet her unless she's in it." "Don't worry. Were going to the race." I looked at Bruno and smiled. He gave me a peck on my cheek. "Are you sure your fine." "I'm sure." We walked back into the stables and are greeted by the gang. "We heard what happened. Are you ok." I jiggle my arms and legs. "Perfectly fine." I take Farah over to the side and the guys hope on their ATVs and take off. "Bruno, seriously, go have fun. Don't let me ruin your time." He leans in and kisses me. "I'm perfectly happy here with you."